A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

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A Day in the Death of Joe Egg
Joe Egg.jpg
2001 West End revival theatrical poster
Written by Peter Nichols
Date premiered 1967
Place premiered Citizens Theatre
Glasgow, Scotland
Original language English
Subject Parents with a child with cerebral palsy use humour to cope
Genre Comedy
Setting present day, Bristol, England
IBDB profile
IOBDB profile

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg is a 1967 play by the English playwright Peter Nichols, first staged at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland, before transferring to London's West End theatres in 1968.

Plot summary[edit]

The play centers on a British couple who are struggling to save their marriage whilst trying to raise their only child, a small girl with cerebral palsy. She uses a wheelchair and is unable to communicate. Caring for her has occupied nearly every moment of her parents' lives since her birth, taking a heavy toll on their marriage.

Sheila, her mother, gives Josephine as much of a life as she can while Bri wants the child institutionalised and has begun to entertain chilling fantasies of killing himself and Josephine.

Characters[edit]

  • Bri
  • Grace
  • Joe
  • Freddie
  • Pam
  • Sheila

Productions[edit]

After its premiere in Glasgow in 1967, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg opened in London's West End in 1967 then transferred to Broadway the next year. On Broadway, the play received four nominations for Tony Awards, including Best Play, Best Actor (Albert Finney), Best Featured Actress (Zena Walker) and Best Director (Michael Blakemore). Walker won the Tony for Best Featured Actress.

The play has been revived twice on Broadway. A 1985 revival staged at the Longacre Theatre ran for 93 performances. It was directed by Arvin Brown and the cast included Jim Dale, Stockard Channing, Joanna Gleason, Christina Pickles and Kate Wilkinson. The production won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival.

A 2001 revival on London's West End starred Clive Owen and Victoria Hamilton and was directed by Laurence Boswell. The same production opened on Broadway in 2003 at the American Airlines Theatre and played for 69 performances. It starred Eddie Izzard and Victoria Hamilton.

In October 2011 the Citizens Theatre will once again stage the play that premiered there in 1967, with Miriam Margolyes confirmed in the cast.

Film adaptations[edit]

Nichols adapted A Day in the Death of Joe Egg for two films, first in 1970, and again in 2002. The 1970 adaptation, which was not released until 1972, was directed by Peter Medak, starring Alan Bates, Janet Suzman, Joan Hickson, Peter Bowles and Elizabeth Robillard. A 2002 television version was directed by Robin Lough, with stars Eddie Izzard, Victoria Hamilton, Prunella Scales, and Robin Weaver.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards
  • 1985 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival
  • 1985 Outer Critics Circle Awards Best Revival
  • 1985 Tony Award for Best Reproduction of a Play
Nominations
  • 1968 Tony Award for Best Play
  • 2003 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play
  • 2003 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Play

References[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Nichols, Peter (1967). A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (First edition ed.). London: Faber & Faber. OCLC 254709626. 

External links[edit]